Author: Dr. Priyanka Mohan

Qualification : MBBS, MS(OBG), FMAS, DMAS, FRM

What is the difference between IVF and Test Tube Baby?

While most couples face no complications in conceiving a child, there are many that are unable to conceive a child naturally. With the latest advancements in medical science, new techniques have been developed to help couples who are unable to conceive a child.  For couples who always dreamt of conceiving a child but face certain fertility issues, modern reproductive methods have come as a blessing. Reproductive techniques like In-Vitro-Fertilization, surrogacy, sperm donation and egg donation have become a boon for the infertile couples. However, this article discusses all there is to know about In-Vitro-Fertilization or IVF. It is a type of assisted reproductive technique which involves obtaining eggs from a woman’s ovaries and fertilizing them with husband sperm. The fertilized egg may then be transferred to a woman’s uterus or frozen, to be used later.

Difference between IVF and Test Tube Baby

Let us first get this out of the way that there’s absolutely no difference between IVF and a test tube baby. In fact, a test tube baby is a baby who is conceived through IVF. The process of In-Vitro Fertilization involves fertilization to be done outside the uterus in a petri dish by combining female egg with the sperm. Therefore, IVF and Test Tube babies are one and the same.

Understanding The Procedure

Conceiving a baby through IVF is an elaborate procedure which can take quite some time. The initial phase requires the doctors to check for the ovarian reserve along few other basic investigations. A USG is performed to check the condition of the ovaries and uterus. The 5-step procedure begins once all the legal and emotional implications are assessed.


In the first step of stimulation, fertility drugs are given to the woman as the procedure requires to assess the responses of regular blood tests and USGs, are done by the Doctor at regular intervals.

Trigger Injection

When the woman is ready for the Oocyte retrieval, the Doctor will give a trigger injection to bring about the fetal maturation of the Oocyte. And, 35-26 hours after this, your egg retrieval will be done.

Egg retrieval

Egg retrieval is a surgical procedure done under anesthesia. This process requires a needle to be inserted into the woman’s ovary through the vaginal route and removal of the egg within the follicle through suction. This process is also referred to as follicular aspiration.


During the procedure of IVF, the sperm is mixed with the egg in a petri dish. As a result, the sperm fertilizes the eggs overnight.

Developing embryo

To check if the egg is fertilized and developing into an embryo, the petri dish should constantly be monitored from time to time by the embryologist in a laboratory. The embryo also goes through genetic testing during this stage. Genetic testing of the embryo can also be done during this phase.

Transferring the embryo

Based on the embryo quality, the embryo can be transferred on Day 3 or on Day 5 into the uterus using a catheter.

Depending on the circumstances, the IVF treatment can either use a

  1. Woman’s egg and her partner’s sperm or:
  2. Woman’s egg and donor’s sperm
  3. Donor’s egg and donor’s sperm
  4. Donor’s egg and woman’s partner’s sperm
  5. Donated embryos
  6. Surrogate uterus with embryos obtained from any of the above mentioned gametes.

Who needs Test Tube baby or IVF treatment?

Ranging from factors like unhealthy /sedentary lifestyle to pollution, there are numerous reasons for a couple to not be able to conceive naturally. IVF or In-Vitro Fertilization helps those couples who due to certain reproductive health issues are unable to get pregnant. This unique procedure also reduces the chance of passing on genetic disorders, as the embryos can also be tested for certain genetic abnormalities. Some of the most common reasons for couples to choose IVF includes:

  • Blocked fallopian tubes
  • Unexplained Fertility
  • Severe Endometriosis
  • Decreased ovarian reserve
  • Severe Male factor infertility

To put it simply, IVF is a type of assisted reproductive technique which is as effective as it is popular among couples who can’t conceive naturally. Other than being scientific and non-scientific names of the same process, there is absolutely no difference between IVF and test tube baby. And we at Motherhood IVF, understand how precious it is for struggling couples, the thought of conceiving a healthy baby.

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